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poisoned for his attempts at reformation.
Besides what are known to be his, a good many have been fathered upon him, chiefly jest-books, in which he is entitled "Merry Andrew," — as he was always recommending people to "laugh and grow fat." Among things attributed to him is a Latin poem on the Friars, beginning—
Tara tantara teino.
Tara tantara teino.
And so on.
Of the "Introduction of Knowledge," Dibdin says, "it is the most curious and generally interesting volume ever put forth from the press of the Coplands."
Of course he begins with the Englishman, who is in the rude woodcut represented naked, holding a huge pair of shears, and having over his right arm a piece of cloth. This is a hit at the national love of new fashions:
I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,
A now I wyll were I cannot tel what.
And English swearing impressed Boorde as something sui generis; he often remarks on it: "In all the worlde ther is no regyon nor countree that doth vse more swearynge than is used in England, for a chylde that scarse can speake, a boy, a gyrle, a wenche, now a dayes wyl swere as great othes as an olde knave and an olde drabbe." Which shows that we do owe something to the Puritans; for our "girls and wenches," at any rate, have given up the custom, and contrast strikingly in their careful shunning of strong expressions with the German lasses, for instance, whose "Ach du lieber Gott!" drawn out so sweetly from a rosebud mouth, is much more startling than the "MonDieu!" of a Frenchwoman. The Italian verdict on England, Boorde tells us, was "bona terra, mala gente." This he combats: the English are as good as any people; "yea, much more better in many thynges, specially in maners and manhod." The superior fertility of Eng
land (so well brought out in Laing's Notes of a Traveller) struck the Doctor; he also thinks London the finest city in the world, "wherein is suche a brydge of pulchritudnes that in all the worlde there is none lyke." Stonehenge he notices; and Bath, where "in wynter the poore people doth go into the water to kepe themself warme, and to get them a heate." England too has "more nobiler portes and hauens than any other regyon." But the strangest thing is that he puts Cornwall by itself in an "appendex," in order to give samples of that old Cornish which Mr. Max Midler has found more than a match for him in the third volume of his Chips, and also to declaim against the bad cooking which is said to be still a fault of the Cornish folks. "Cornish cream" the Doctor evidently never tasted, though its well-known "Phoenician origin" precludes the idea of its having been since invented ; however, clotted cream he mentions several times in his " Dietary," but he must have eaten a Cornish pasty (such as they give you—generally cold into the bargain—at that worst of all refreshment rooms at the Plymouth station); for he says, "there meate and theyr breade is marde and spylt for lacke of good ordring and dressynge." But his chief complaint is that nothing fit to drink can be got in the county: "there ale is starke nought, lokinge whyte and thycke, as pygges had wrasteled in it." Of men who drink stuff like that we do not wonder to hear that
For wagginge of a straw,
They wyl go to law—
a characteristic of their descendants, unless report maligns them. Nor do the Welshmen proper fare better at our author's hands.
I am a Welshman, and do dwel in Wales,
I loue not to labour nor to delue nor to dyg,
sounds very like an expression of "Taffy was a thief." Welsh singing and harping both seemed to the Doctor
Much lyke the hussyng of a homble be;
while the Welsh love of "cawse boby" (toasted cheese) is of course noted. Our author was writing some score of years after "the hundred merry tales" were printed, in one of which St. Peter, ordered to clear heaven of the ruck of Welsh saints, goes outside and shouts "cawse boby," and when their Welsh holinesses have all rushed out to get some, slips in and locks the door upon them. Wales is, he says, like Castile or ' Biscay in the poverty of living and lodging; yet the people are "hardy, stronge, and goodly .... and many of them be louynge and kynd hearted, faythful and vertuous." Their wakes, after the Irish fashion, amused him; and their cry, "O swetynge, why dost thou dye? thou shalt not goe from us ; we wyl die with the ; venit! (benedictus)" reminded him again of Castile.
Of Irish characteristics the Doctor hits off not a few. Under a cut representing a girl " hunting over" the hair of a rough fellow whose head is in her lap, we read—
. I loue to weare a saffron shert, although
it be to tome, My anger and my hastynes doth hurte me full
sore; I cannot leaue It, it creaseth more and more.
Frieze, hobby-hawks (such as Strafford in later days sent over to his friends), " aquavite," dice, are Irish exports. There are no magpies (now they are almost as plentiful as in France) nor snakes, etc.; and English merchants carry away Irish earth "to caste in their gardens, to kepe out and to kvll venimous wormes." The Irish are slothful, not caring for riches but for meat and drink; "flesh sufficient they haue, but little bread or wine, and none ale." It is "their melancholy complexion" (Mr. Disraeli says it is the nearness of the melancholy sea) which causes them to be testy without a cause. Nevertheless Boorde adds: "I did neuer find more amyte and loue than I haue found of Iryshe men the whyche was borne within the English pale; yea, even among the wylcle Irishe there be vertuous creatures whom grace worketh aboue nature." So Stanihurst (1577): "These Irishe beyng vertuously bred up or reformed are such myrors of holynes and austeritie, that other nations retaine but a shadow of deuotion in comparison of them."
Scotland is on the whole fairly treated, considering.
I am a Scotyshe man, and trew I am to France;
India was not yet a field for enterprising
young Britons; but as soon as our factories out there began to be worth going to, "the Scotch party" grew, and grew till men from this side of the border were almost looked on as interlopers. And not in India, but (much to their credit) in almost every part of the known world, Scotch merchants and Scotch in every capacity have gone ahead, just as Boorde describes them doing in his time, as James's English courtiers and subjects cried out against them for doing some seventy years later. Is this " pushing" a proof of their being pure-blood Teutons? It certainly is not Celtic : the French have it not, nor the Welsh and Irish; but the Prussians, so their London and Liverpool fellow-clerks say, possess it in a most unpleasant degree. This would settle the question about Lowlanders; but how is it that the Highlanders have, on the whole, done as well—in some walks of life better —than their Lowland rivals? Anyhow, though the Scots are in this as Boorde found them, let us rejoice that no longer are his next verses true in any sense:
I am a Scotyshe man, and haue dissembled moche And in my promise I haue not kept touche.
An Englyshe man I cannot naturally loue.
Boorde notices the great poverty and wretchedness of the Borderland; he remarks on the good cookery of the Scotch, and of their skill in music, and doubts not that the Northern Scotch are of the same race with the Irish.
Why he treats of Shetland and Friesland together, except that both, he says, abound in fish, I cannot tell. The Frisians he praises as being good, simple folk. About Iceland he is sadly at fault : the men, who certainly were for centuries above the European average in intelligence.he stigmatizes as " beastly creatures, vnmanered and vntaughte, lyuing in caues altogether, like swyne. . . . they will gyue away ther children. . . . They wyll eate candells ends and olde grece. . . . . They be lyke the people of the newe founde land named Calyco. In Iceland there be many iciylde bestes." But in Iceland there are no wild beasts at all.
Boorde's conscientiousness comes out in his declining to give any samples of Icelandic: for, says he, "I can not speke it, but here and there a worde or two." Poor old man! he could fairly assert:
After my conscyence I do wryte truly.
Nor does he claim a high rank for his poetry:
But I am as I am, but not as I was.
And where as my metre is ryme dogrell,
The effect of the whyche no wyse man wyll defell.
"Drunk as a rat" is the proverb of the "buttermouth Flemings;" but the Dutch are worse, drinking till it runs out of them. Brabant is rich and pleasant, and " Handwarp" has a curious spire and a " Bourse" for the merchants. Cleves and Gueldres are poor, because so fond of war. In Juliers the geese are plucked naked every year. So much for the "base Doche men." In "hyghe Doch lond" we are astonished to find the "Junker" already known by name, wearing a feather in his cap:
3e it of goose or capon, it is right good gere.
One High Dutch custom which disgusted Boorde has made its way over here, possibly along with the Georges: "they will eate magotts as fast as we wyll eat comfits. They haue a way to brede them in chese." The snowy Alps impressed our author much: "a man may see them fyftene myle of, at a cyte called Ulmes."
Denmark, next on the Doctor's list, is a very poor country, so poor that Boorde marvels "how they dyd ones gette Englande." So again he marvels how a little country like Saxony could have conquered England; "for I think if al the world were set against England it might neuer be conquerid, they beying treue within themselfe." Next Boorde speaks of those other heretics the Bohemians, whose spokesman says:
For the Pope's curse I do Iytle care.
Bohemia is the land of wonderful beasts —" bughs and bovies," much like those which Caesar describes as inhabiting the great Hyrcanian forest. What Boorde says of them may be all true ; but he is certainly wrong when he says of the Bohemians, "their speche is Doch." Not even the Thirty Years' War and the Germanizing of their nobles ever for a moment drove the Czech speech from its position as the language of the country. And now when the German traveller crosses the old frontier, he feels much as an Englishman
does in a third class carriage on a South Wales railway—among aliens.
Mr. Freeman is quite right; we are Teutons; the "at home" like feeling which most of us have all the way from the Rhine to the Oder proves it to my mind. Even if we don't understand the speech, we feel as if we ought to. Nay, far west of the Rhine, about Ostend, where the Fleming asserts himself so stoutly against his " Welsh" neighbors, how homelike is the look of the people, and how you "stand corrected" if at some little inn you have asked for "viande" and the hostess with a grave shake of the head drawls out " Nitfleisch." You never feel at home in Bohemia; the lodging is still as "indifferent" as it was in Boorde's day; but it is something about the people which shows they are not of us.
In Poland our author was chiefly struck with its poverty; he makes here too a mistake about language—" theyr speche is corrupt Doche." Boorde would have had an effort made to drive the Turks out of Hungary. His Hungarian says:
If we of other nacions might haue any helpe, We wold make them to fle like a dog or a whelpe.
He grows quite poetical about the "regall Mod of Danuby ; " but he does not appear to have passed beyond it; for about Constantinople he romances, talking of Saint Sophia as not a mosque, but the "fairist cathedral churche in the worlde. . .they say that there is a thowsande prestes that doth belong to the church : before the funt is a pycture of copper and gylt of Iustinian, that sytteth upon a horse of coper." All which smacks rather ot Mandeville than of personal observation. The kindliness of the man comes out in his way of noticing the Great Schism: "The Greciens do erre in many articles concerning our fayth, the whyche I do thinke better to obmyt, and to leue vmvryten than to wryte it." Bravo, Boorde! How well you contrast with some of our moderns. I took up A Vacation Tour in Brittany not long ago, and was vexed to find all that was new in it made up of tirades against "Popish darkness and superstition."
We are wrong. Boorde must have been in Greece, for he gives an unusually long Greek and English dialogue, ending with the pious Chcrcte apapantes with which the modern host dismisses his guests.
Harking back from Greece towards Calais, Boorde takes Southern Europe, beginning with Sicily and Italy; the thing which chiefly struck him in every part of which was the prevalence of old fashions in dress and behavior:
Al new fashyons to England I do bequeat,
says the Neapolitan;
In my apparel I am not mutable,
says the Roman, and so on.
Boorde's righteous soul was vexed, like other righteous souls, at the state of Rome; "I dyd se lytle vertue there, and much abhominable vyces." He is also worried by their way of reckoning time, "for they do recken vnto xxiii a cloke, and than it is mydnyght."
What he says of Venice reads like Childe Harold's lines put into old prose: "Whosoeuer that hath not seene the noble citie of Venis, he hath not sene the bewtye and ryches of thys worlde." The Doge may not leave the city so long as he doth live ; there is not a poor person to be seen in Venice ; the Venyscions hath great prouision of warre, for they haue euer in a redynes tymber to make a hondred gates or more," They are not superstitious: "When they do heare masse they doth clap theyr hand on theyr mouth, and do not knock themself on the brest." In fact the Venetians were a satisfactory people. The laxness which Byron found among them, and which made their city in his eyes an Italian Seville, belonged in Boorde's day to Genoa. Thomas, in his History of Italy (1561), says: "One thing I am sure of, that if Ouide were now aliue, there be in Genoa that could teache him a dousen poinctes de arte amandi." Boorde as a doctor of course noticed Genoa treacle, drjpiaxov, whose virtues are witnessed to in Chaucer's line:
Christ that of alle mischef is triakel.
Of it he says: "Whan they do make theyr trade, a man wyll take and eate poysen, and than he wyl swel redy to brost and to dye, and as sone as he hath takyn trakle he is hole agene."
After the old-custom-loving Italians it is a change to come into France, where they "wyll euery daye haue a new fashion." France suits our author's love of good cheer, and though he has a special word for "good Aquitany," as he affectionately calls it, he is able to say of the whole
that "Fraunce is a noble countre, and plentiful of wyne, bread, corne, fysh, flesh and whyld foule. there a man shal be honestly orderyd for his mony, and shal haue good chere and good lodging." Very different this from Aragon, where nothing is to be had but measly bacon and sardines —so bad that, when Englishmen have been there,
Thither neuer after they wyll come agene.
The rest of Spain is as bad, except by the sea-side, where, like Portugal, it is enriched by trade. Elsewhere "the countrey is baryn of wine and corne, and skarse of vitels; a man shal not get mete in many places for no mony; other whyle you shal get kyd, and mesell bakyn, and salt sardyns, which is a lytle fysh as byg as a pylcherd, and they be rosty. al your wyne shal be kepte and caryed in gote
skyns whan you go to dyner and
to supper you must fetch your bread in one place, and your wyne in a nother place, and your ineate in a nother place; and hogges in many places shal be vnder yovr feete at the table, and lice in your bed. . . . the best fare is in prestes houses, for they do kepe typlinge houses."
When he comes to Navarre Boorde tells at full length the story of the white cock and hen which were kept at St. Domingo in memory of the sad fate of the Joseph-like young pilgrim who was on his way to Compostella. At which Compostella, by the way, an old blear-eyed doctor of divinity tells Boorde that "our clergy doth illude, mocke and skorne the people to do Idolatry, making ygnorant people to worship the thynge that is not here ;" all the bones, etc., of St. James and others having been placed by Carolus Magnus in St. Severin's in Toulouse. I am sorry to say that Brittany — " litle Britten"—has not a good character in Boorde:
Of al nacions I hate free Englyshe men,
is what the Breton says; but then, as Boorde's Breton speaks French, let us hope he is misrepresented as regards his dislikes as well as his language.
So having got back to Calais again, Boorde goes on to heat of Moors, and of Turks, whose "Macomyt, a false felow," deceived the people by teaching tricks to his dove and his camel; much as many Irish believe Henry VIII. taught a donkey to "discover" the Book of Common Prayer, which the apostate King hail secretly buried. With which notice of "Macomyt" let us leave the travel-book and turn to "Dyetary," written in Montpellier, and dedicated to Thomas Duke of Norfolk. And here the striking feature is Boorde's compendiousness: he treats of everything, from where you are to "cytuat" your house, and how you should build it, "for to lengthen your lyfe," down to "how a sycke man shuld be vsed that is lykly to dye."
On house-building he is not only before his age, but far in advance of our own practice; he has a true notion of sanitary laws: "The ayre cannot be to clere and pure ... for we lyue by it as the fysshe lyueth by the water ... for yf the ayre be fryske, pure, and clere, it doth conserue the lyfe of man, it doth comfort the bravne." Bad air putrifies the brain ; and among things which corrupt the air are "standing waters, stynkyng mystes and marshes, caryn lyinge longe aboue the grounde, moche people in a smal rome lying vnclenly and beynge fylthe and slattyshe." Above all, buttery, cellar, larder, and kitchen are to be kept clean and free from accumulations of filth; if there is a moat, it must be often scoured and kept free from mud, so must the fishponds. Stables, brewhouse, and bakehouse are to be kept well away from the dwelling-house. Such a house must have plenty of land about it, "for he the whyche wyll dwell at pleasure, and for proffyte and helth of his body, he must dwell at elbowe-roome." The prospect too must be good; "for, and the eye be not satysfyed, the mynde can not be contented. And the mynde not contented, the herte cannot be pleased; yf the herte and mynde be not pleased, nature doth abhorre. And yf nature do abhorre, niortyfycacion of the vytall and anymall and spyrytuall powers do consequently folowe." Of aspects the south is the worst, "for the south winde doth corrupt and make euyl vapours :" the best is the east," for that wynde is temperate, fryske, and fraugrant"—testimony, as Mr. Halliwell writes, to the same effect as that of Mr. Kingsley in his well-known Ode. Never set up house till you have three years' " rent" (i. e.money for all outgoings) in coffer. Divide your income into three parts: one for food; another for dress, wages, liveries, alms; the third
for urgent calls, such as sickness and the "charges of a man's last ende."
Keep your household well in hand, and put down swearing: "for in all the worlde ther is not suche odyble swearyng as is vsed in Englonde, specyally amonge youth and children, and no man doth go aboute to punnysshe it."
Sleep according to your temperament, but not too long; have a fire in your room to consume evil vapors, "for the breath of man may putryfye the ayre within the chambre." Wear a scarlet nightcap and plenty of bedclothes. And, if you must sleep in the day-time, sleep leaning against a cupboard or sitting upright in a chair.
Eat and drink moderately, "for else the lyuer, which is the fyre vnder the potte, is subpressed that he can not naturally nor truely decocte ne dygest." Fond as Boorde was of good beer, he did not like even to see men let "the maltworme playe the deuyll in theyr heade." He also cries out against our English plan of eating the "gross meats" first, leaving those which are wholesome and light of digestion for servants. "Water," he confesses, "is not holsome, sole by it selfe, for an Englysshe man ;" above all, avoid well-water and standing water. Claret or "Raynysshe" is best with meat. Of "hote wynes" he gives a long list; but would have none of them taken but very sparingly and after dinner. The distinction between ale and beer will be new to some readers : ale is only malt and wrater, "and they which do put any other thynge to ale except yest, barme, or godes good doth sofysticat theyr ale." It is the Englishman's natural drink, as beer (of malt, water, and hops) is the Dutchman's; "bere nowe of late dayes is moche vsed in Englande to the detryment of many Englyshe men, whom it kylleth." Boorde insists strongly, as all men of sense do, on the importance of good bread; "sophysticating" bakers he would set standing up to their chin in the Thames. He is also great on pottage, which he says " is not so much vsed in al crystendom as it is vsed in Englande." Fish, too, sea and river both, we have more of than any other country.
Our Doctor's verdict is (contrary to that of modern physicists) that "fysshe doth lytele nourishe," and also that fish and flesh should not be eaten together at one